Real Talk: The Reality of Life Postpartum

I hope you guys have been enjoying my Real Talk series here on TameraMowry.com. I personally love getting a chance to talk directly about real life struggles and triumphs, inspiration and truths, and hearing your stories in return. Today’s topic is postpartum life, something that I’ve touched on before. The thing is, life after pregnancy is different in so many ways, and we all have unique experiences. But the digital world often makes it seem like what we go through is all the same, and honestly, that it’s a lot more glamorous than it sometimes is! I think we can all relate.

Tamera Mowry Aden

Throwback! My first time around…

As much as I hope to be an inspiration for all mommies on their journeys to getting that pre-pregnancy body back and knowing that you can achieve all your health and fitness goals, I also want to set a realistic example. The truth is that the length and pace of the journey is different for everyone. Nothing happens overnight. For some women, a major struggle post-pregnancy is dropping the weight. For others, there are mental struggles like depression (there are 3 million US cases of postpartum depression each year – and even more undiagnosed) and feelings of isolation or stress. Usually, there are both the mental and physical ups and downs to navigate.

And while it’s important to focus on keeping physically fit and healthy so that we can better meet the needs of our little ones, let’s face it – there are always going to be a million other things to focus on at the same time. Life can throw things at you that deserve more focus than arbitrary weight goals (don’t get me wrong – health is important, but a number on a scale? Not so much). Don’t be afraid to turn your focus on to something else, and even inward at times.

It took time to learn and accept that my journey is and will always be different from the next woman’s. Reading blogs, following those you don’t personally know on social media- these can all be points of inspiration, but they can also be points of comparison. It’s so important to know that what you see is only a carefully thought out version of the story. That’s why it’s become more and more important to me to be authentic – so that people get a genuine look at how I experience motherhood, my work, my home and LIFE! Life is beautiful as is, and if we’re too caught up in the physical parts of it, we can lose sight of the real focus – our loving relationships, our mental health and our happiness and fulfillment as mothers.

No matter what stage of pregnancy or motherhood you are at, I challenge you to give yourself a few words of encouragement each and every day!

What are your feelings on this postpartum journey? Do you have any words of encouragement for other readers?

Xx,
Tamera

  • Greggandkay Sussman

    Tamera, that’s so true about everyone being different. After my first son, I don’t think I even looked in the mirror. For one, I didn’t have the time to really analyze my body. I was so concerned about being a new mom and trying to do everything right, I didn’t pay much attention to the way I looked. I remember reading about celebrities that dropped their pregnancy weight in a short period of time and thinking, they can’t be nursing! My son’s pediatrician told me the caloric count I needed to ensure a good supply of milk for my son, and that’s what I did. I didn’t work out because I had read that it would affect my milk supply. However, what I did do is eat healthy (mostly), and I took a stroll with my son most days because it was summer and we had great weather. The walking helped me lose weight even though that was not my motivation. I guess, I just want to tell people that do what feels right to you and your baby. That’s what really matters. You want a healthy baby and a healthy mommy.

  • Ina Turner

    Tamera, “Run your own race” that’s what I remind myself when I start that very destructive of comparison. While reading about others life might sound like fun
    we don’t have the whole picture,and even if we did it might not be how we want to arrive at our goals. At time we cause struggles,stress and sometime
    even some depression because we put so much pressure on ourselves to live
    up to others expectations.
    After three baby, my last was the hardest to lose that last 10 lbs,but I am feeding my family healthy,and living a healthy life style sooo the body will do
    what the body will do,lollol. And I remind myself all the time if I don’t get back
    to my “pre.” three baby weight how much important will I continue to give it?
    Will I continue to let it control my thinking and life? NOOOO. As you stated
    Life is beautiful as is,Kiddos healthy,Hubby healthy,Momma healthy, just working on her last few lbs.lolololol.
    Blessings…

  • Flemmings

    I’m 5 months into my pregnancy and this will be my first and like you said each one of us has to live our own journey. I know that essential to feeling like myself is taking time for myself. Obviously I won’t have as much time as I used to but I know it will be important for me to make the time to either for for a run, or get a manicure or watch a movie.

    Thankfully I have a great support system that aids in affording me those moments. The point is I know that I desire that time to connect with myself and to hold on to “me”. It can be a challenge in this day and age but holding on to yourself is important to feeling good.

    So I think it’s important for women to recognize what matters to us, what helps us feel beautiful, strong and capable and to make time for those things.

  • I agree wholeheartedly, Tamera. Every woman’s journey is different. Words of encouragement? Don’t give up – it gets better with time & never be afraid/ashamed to ask for help.

  • Nicole Haigler

    I am so glad that you wrote this. Just last night I was in tears because I looked at myself and was like it is almost a year later and I’m not exactly where I want to be with my weight and fitness. But I also have looked around and said I have a beautiful baby boy and awesome husband and I am so happy with my life. It is defenitely a journey, this motherhood but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am also thankful that you are being open and honest because this was my first child and nobody told me the half of how it really is. I applaud you for who you are as a public figure. And in my mind you are a dear friend of mines. Again I applaud you and love what you stand for. Keep it up!

  • This was such a great post Tamera, thank you for keeping it real!

    Xo,

    Aïchatou Bella
    http://www.stilettosandstandards.com

  • Bookie Adeshiyan

    You said it better; everyone’s race is different. I can relate to the struggle after having our 3rd child, I was stuck with extra 20lbs. I remember going to groceries store with all of themone day when my last baby was just 8 months old. The cashier look at me and said awww another one on the way? I didn’t answer because my focus was to get all the 3 kids out of the line on time. She continued with the next customer we can all relate we’ve all been there, all my kids are 1 year apart blah blah blah. I was like I am not pregnant. I did not loose all the pounds untill by baby was 18 month. Do you, eat healthy and excersice when you can. Don’t forget eating healthy is 80% of healthy life journey. You are still my favorite lady on the Real, and I think you look incredibly great period.@bukkydare

  • Cams Noel

    Hi Tamera,

    I just wanted to say congrats on your little girl. My little one was also born last July 2015. I must say with her being my second child, the experience was VERY different than my first who is 6 years old. Not only do I struggle to lose the weight after this pregnancy, I also experienced postpartum depression which then turned into panic attacks. It was the worst experience of my life. I didn’t realize at the time that I was experiencing post partum( as I didn’t have this with my first) so that’s what made my anxiety worse! it was a very hard adjustment for me going from having one child to now having two. Their demands were very different obviously and I felt completely overwhelmed and misunderstood. My husband is a great man, however didn’t know how to support me with my postpartum as it was new and challenging for both of us. It’s hard to talk to people who don’t get it ( especially men lol)
    So my baby girl is now 9 months old and even though I know I’m better, some days can still be overwhelming. As for the weight loss, I didn’t pay attention to it until I felt mentally well enough to even be at the gym. I must say that me taking an hour out of my day to work out has definitely made this a smoother transition for me getting over my depression. For those of you out there who have experienced or are experiencing postpartum depression…. You are not alone and it’s okay to talk about it. Many women go through this. Seeking help is the best advice I can give. Whether it be from your doctor, a friend, or a support group do not feel as though you have to suffer in silence. You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to be a great mom to your new baby. I have about 11 more pounds to go to be at my pre- pregnancy weight and I am in no rush at all!!!! It took me 39 weeks to gain all the weight so I know it’s going to take time for it to come off and I’m okay with that!!
    Take care xo

    • Perni G.

      I could not relate to you more. Withmy first baby, whom I just recently have birth to this past November, I experienced postpartum anxiety. I’m still learning how to deal emotional. I’ve incorporated a light workout from time to time, the Bible and deep breaths whenever I feel I’m getting overwhelmed. Carrying for a newborn alone can be very stressful while hubby is at work all day and sleeping through the night. Best of wishes to any woman trying to deal and overcome.

    • Thanks for sharing your story and kind thoughts for anyone else experiencing this. So true… There is no need to rush the weight loss, and exercise really does boost the mood! Hang in there and congrats! xx

  • Nicole

    Thank you for this. I just had my 3rd baby 6 months ago. My friends just had their babies 1 year ago and the other 3 months ago. It’s hard not to compare. I have 10 more pounds till back to my pregnancy weight. I like to focus on non scale victories. As in my jeans fitting again. Haha.

  • Lindsey Riddle

    Hi Tamara! My kids are around the same age as yours. I have a boy who is approaching 3 and a baby girl who recently turned 1 and for the past 8 months, I’ve been raising then in my own because my husband is currently deployed. I have lost 20 pounds and several inches over the past 8 months and I’ve recently been depressed that I haven’t lost more but reading your blog has made me feel much better. My husband will be returning home soon and our kids are happy and healthy and I will continue with my health goals and I will reach them with time. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sook

    Tamera-
    I’m a new mom and just over 2 months postpartum and I feel absolutely lovely. From pregnancy to delivery to now…my journey has been quite pleasant. I feel like what you think, will be. I’ve been the kind of person that looks at the beauty and positive in all things because things could be different, not so pleasant and that there is someone else going through more.
    I’m busy trying to be the best mom that I can be. I think about how I grew up, what I wished for (like a mother that was present in my life), and what I want for my daughter (everything and more that I did not have).
    Despite all that I’ve been through as a child and all that I’ve experienced till this point, I feel like my view on those things creates my present and my destiny. I’m full of positive thoughts and I feel like as a result positive things come about. And when triumph or things don’t go the way I hoped for, I know it’s for a reason. God has a plan. ;-)
    Thank you for sharing and for allowing me to share. :)
    Ella’s mommy

  • Jessica Lee Kandola

    I am so grafeful for this. I think nowadays in the world of waist trainers, “crunchy” moms, vaccine debates, and model standards, mothers compete and place guilt on themselves instead of being proud of everyday accomplishments. I have admired your postpartum journey for months, and even more so now, after having my second baby. I am struggling now, three months postpartum to lose baby weight that just fell off the first time around. It’s refreshing to hear you talk about LIFE and how important every second is with our children and families. We see celebrities everyday who seem to step out of a delivery room and into a bikini. It creates an unrealistic expectation for most mothers who are also taking care of a household, working fulltime jobs, taking care of other children, and honestly, just caught up in the “survival mode” of having a new baby. Thank you for being REAL and for sharing your journey with others. I’m sure I speak for many in saying you bring a level of comfort in how relatable your life and stories have been.

  • EricaB

    Tamera, I agree as well. My first is 2yo and 2nd is 6 mos. My stepson AND my parents moved in with us last summer, plus we also bought a house (and moved in when I was 8 mos pregnant with 2nd).
    My life is hectic to put it mildly. The struggle to be positive with life is intense sometimes, although I’m actually pretty happy about the wonderful time of life my hubby and I are in. Reminding us to tell ourselves something encouraging daily is a breath of fresh air and something I don’t normally think to do. Thank you.

  • Chenel Rex

    What a brilliant article. It’s true, these days we can be affected by the warped focus of the world, but family, life and of course our worship to our God has to be a priority.
    Dropping the weight after my second was so so hard and it’s got me down sometimes, especially when post part in (post Baka in the UK :)) hit,
    But when I was ready mentally my sister encouraged me and I started doing lean in 15, which is a healthy blacked eating lifestyle along with HIIT exercise. No fad diet, healthy, and it leaves me feeling energetic.

    I say focus on LIFE! and worry about the little goals we have when we’re mentally ready x

  • NaTa Logvinova

    Hi Tamera ! Just want to thank you for the daily inspiration and reminders that life is beautiful ! Your family is beautiful and very happy for you !!!

  • Carolina Padilla Lopez

    Tamera,

    I’ve been wanting to write to you for a while now. I wish I could say more than Thank You, but my thanks come with more than just 2 simple words. Thank you for being REAL, for being an inspiration and being human to the rest of the world. For opening your doors and allowing us to see and know the real you. Our daughters are only weeks apart and like you said I started following and comparing myself to other mommy’s on social media. What I learned in therapy (I was diagnosed with postpartum Anxiety and Depression… Not fun) We all live and have different lives and I get the whole “no excuses”, but no one lives in my shoes as I don’t live in theirs. There is no such thing as the perfect mom and wife but we could be our families perfect and that’s what matters. On one episode you brought me to tears when you spoke about not being at your goal weight. It hit home! Due to my anxiety and depression it kept me home, I couldn’t reach out for help because I was embarrassed, sad, mad and all sort of other emotions. You helped me realize that I don’t have to be what someone else expects of me. It doesn’t matter if I was small in the past or how much easier it was to lose the weight with my other kids. I’m now a happy size 12 after my third. Yes, I will workout when I can and yes, I will reach for my healthy snacks but sometimes after homework, sports, work and breastfeeding… I just want to sit on my sofa, ignore my messy house, eat some Yogurtland and watch some TV! I grew up watching you on Sister Sister, and this may sound weird, but I have found a friend in you…My Celebrity Friend. Thank you for giving us the real you.

    Carolina Lopez

    • Beautiful words Carolina. thank you!

  • Marina

    I had an unexpected c-section after laboring for a while. 6 month later I am struggling emotionally with the loss of what I’d hoped for. I am thrilled and in love with my baby girl. I enjoy breastfeeding, have lost all of my pregnancy weight, and I am so blessed to have my princess. But the grief of my traumatic delivery resonates within me. I am praying that it heals in due time!

  • Sarah Lotus Petal PND

    So true xx
    I had a real struggle with comparing myself to others after my baby was born, I had severe postpartum depression and anxiety. I would constantly compare myself to others, especially on social media. I would also make a conscious effort to make sure I appeared to ‘keep up ‘ with the other mums and not let on that I was struggling. It was exhausting.
    As I recovered and gained my own confidence as a mother I soon learnt to let go of these unattainable, and often unrealistic goals. I now work to support other mothers experiencing maternal mental illness and I always try to highlight that what we see on social media isn’t a true reflection of real life. To others my Facebook account showed someone thoroughly enjoying motherhood but in reality I was depressed, unable to leave my home due to anxiety and I very nearly ended my life. How many others were looking at my account thinking ‘I wish I was coping and as happy as her”
    We’re all on our own journeys, but all have the same goal; to be the best mother, and best person we can be. Each of us are individual and we should celebrate this, support and encourage each other. Parenting is hard enough without the added stress of appearing perfect xx
    Continue being real Tamera, it’s inspiring and so helpful to others xx
    Sarah
    http://Www.lotuspetalpnd.co.uk

  • Marisa Meyer

    Hi Tamera,

    I am a first time mom, my son is 7 months old and it has been a crazy 7 months. I am a military mom with a deployed husband. This was an amazing read because I tend to forget that nothing happens overnight. I wanted my depression to just dissappear same with the weight I had gained. It has taken a lot to get through everything that has happened over the past few months. For all the moms out there you are so much strong than you think. You can do it no matter how bad your day may seem, look into your little ones eyes and i promise you will find the stregth to do it! Thank you so much for this read and everything else you do.

    -Marisa